Gun tragedy hits Delco hospital
The following statement was issued on July 25, 2014 by Delaware County United for Sensible Gun Policy:
The shooting yesterday at Fitzgerald Mercy Hospital was a tragedy for the community, and the members of Delaware County United for Sensible Gun Policy join all of Delaware County in mourning the loss of life and in expressing our compassion for all of those who were affected by the terrifying crime. That it occurred in a hospital, a place that is supposed to be a place of healing and restoration, makes it all the more horrifying. It seems there is truly no place that is safe from the scourge of gun violence in our society. While everyone must wait for the results of the law enforcement investigation to fully know the details of what happened in the office of psychiatrist Lee Silverman yesterday, Delaware County United for Sensible Gun Policy calls on the Delaware County District Attorney’s office and local police to be vigilant in investigating how Richard Plotts – an individual with a reported history of serious mental illness and a violent criminal background – acquired the gun used in the shooting. It is imperative for the police to trace the gun back to the source of its sale to determine if Mr. Plotts purchased the firearm from a licensed dealer – and somehow circumvented the system of background checks established to prevent sales to prohibited purchasers; if he obtained the gun from a private seller in a state where a background check is not required in a private sale; if he bought it from an illegal trafficker who acquired it from a straw purchaser; if the gun was stolen from someone who failed to secure it; or if it was given to him by an irresponsible gun owner. The public deserves to know who is responsible for allowing a man with a reported history of serious mental illness and a violent criminal background to acquire a gun. Understanding the path that led a gun into the hands of this dangerous man will help public officials institute the reforms that are necessary to prevent similar shootings from happening in the future.